Public consultation launched for proposed Belfast LGBTQ+ hub

Representatives believe that creating an LGBTQ+ hub in Belfast will allow organisations "to work together and offer expanded services."

Councillor de Faoite, Lord Mayor Christina Black, Councillor Mal O'Hara and Councillor Anthony Flynn during the launch of the public consultation for the proposed LGBTQ+ hub in Belfast
Image: @belfastcc via Twitter

Almost a year after Belfast City Council approved funding for a feasibility study about the creation of an LGBTQ+ hub, a public consultation is now open.  Members of the public have been encouraged to respond to the consultation and have their say on what they’d like to see as part of the future LGBTQ+ hub.

As stated in the letter of request signed by representatives from HERe NI, The Rainbow Project, Cara-Friend and Transgender NI and presented to Belfast City Council: “The need for an LGBTQ+ Hub to support the LGBTQ+ community has been developed over many years.”

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Christina Black, highlighted that the majority of LGBTQ+ organisations in the city receive “little or no core funding”, which makes it “extremely challenging” to deal with the increasing demand for services from those institutions.

Speaking about the consultation that just launched, she added: “The consultation will also provide valuable insights into specific facilities and services that users would expect to be available in a dedicated hub, likely demand from users and people’s views on possible locations”.

The overall aim of the questionnaire is to gather information in order to assess the possibility of a unified support centre, as well as “put in place an appropriate Governance Model to ensure its future needs.”

“We are lucky in Belfast to have a range of organisations that work with and support our LGBT+ [sic.] community and this hub would bring them together in one dedicated space, allowing them to work together and offer expanded services. The impact these groups have on the lives of LGBT+ people in this city cannot be overstated and we as councillors have a duty to support and enhance their capability to carry out their lifesaving and life-changing work,” said Councillor de Faoite while urging the public to take part of the consultation.

Karen McShane, one of the representatives who signed the letter in 2021, said that establishing an LGBTQ+ hub would “help promote Belfast as an inclusive, prosperous and vibrant city for all.”

The public has until January 26 2023 to fill out the online questionnaire available on the website

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